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In-Box Review
135
BEDFORD QLD General Service
BEDFORD QLD General Service
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by: Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]

Introduction

Back in 2009, (yes, it was THAT long ago), at that year’s Nuremberg Trade fair, I first met up with the people behind the Polish manufacturer: IBG Models. At that time, they were in the process of expanding and developing their braille-scale range of (predominantly) British softskins. Inevitably, the subject turned to the possibility of the range being produced in 1/35th scale. However, it wasn’t until last year, that the first of the Bedfords, the QLD, was confirmed as a definite future release. Now, somewhat later than scheduled, the first of IBG Models’ Bedfords, is actually on sale.

The Subject Matter

The Bedford QL Series was produced between 1940-45 and production ran to some 50,000 examples. There were three principal variants (all using the same wheelbase):

  • QL ‘B’ – Bofors Gun Tractor (with additional winches)
  • QL ‘R’ – Signals
  • QL ‘D’ – Troop/General Service Vehicle

In addition there were a number of other uses for the QL Series such as recovery vehicles, ‘office’ vans and a little-seen version mounting the Quadruple M55 Machine Gun Trailer, All of these offer real potential for the scratch/conversion enthusiast.

Review

Belying the actual size of the model, the box is pretty empty although that may well be IBG’s way of standardizing the packaging for other, larger subjects.

The Bedford comes on 4 dark-grey sprues and a small clear one for the window glazing. In addition, there is a moulding of a one-piece tilt which includes the tie-downs moulded on the side. A small, but well-printed, decal sheet covers 4 vehicles:

  • 9th Forward Tank replacement Squadron, Polish 2nd Armored Brigade, Italy 1945.
  • Unidentified unit, Soviet Army, Eastern Front 1942.
  • Workshop Cº REME, 6th Guards Tank Brigade, Normandy August 1944
  • 274th Field Company R.E. 51st (Highland) Division Normandy, June 1944


The instructions come in the usual booklet-type format and present the construction in 31 clear steps. Understandably, only two ‘build-options are presented: with the rear body open or closed. Open, the ‘hoops’ are present, closed, the moulded tilt includes some internal detail.

Mould-quality is good. Very good. One of the aspects I particularly like, is that on any ‘wooden’ parts, there’s been no attempt to ‘roughen’ the surface – something that, in 1/35th frequently requires some degree of smoothing down as, to be honest, wood grain WOULDN’T be seen. I was particularly impressed with the tires. IBG has pretty faithfully reproduced both the tread and the manufacturer’s markings on the tire sides.

The model, is, in my opinion, sophisticated rather than overly-complex. The level of engineering is appropriate, and should cause few problems to someone with a moderate amount of experience. Now, how often can one TRULY say that?

Now, briefly, I’ve gone over what I there in the model. There are though a few items which are missing. To this, I’m indebted to Simon King, who, in a thread, over on ML, pointed out some areas which need to be added. These are, in Simon’s own words:

A small etched brass set comprising front grille (there's a radiator already in the kit) gas detection paint tray, windscreen wipers and semaphore indicator and mounts. Also, the starting handle with its associated brackets and a rolled canvas radiator blind to the bottom of the cab's front panel. Also, for lovers of fine detail. The windscreen sliders on the cab inside, as well as an accelerator pedal and the operating mechanism for the semaphore - essentially a rod running from a lever on the centre console.

Another, frequently-seen item is the canvas cover for the AA roof hatch which should be added.


Although this may seem like an extensive list, in reality, the upgrades are quite simple but would add a great deal to the finished model. The basic model is, on first inspection, that good, a little TLC would add wonders to it!

Conclusions

It’s tempting at this point, to bemoan the fact that we have waited decades for this subject. Bearing in mind, that we’ve seen countless ‘Über-Models’ of the most esoteric (and extinct) subjects which seemed to be the consequences of an extensive lunch at the Rheinmetall-Borsig works canteen, it’s a little silly that a subject such as the Bedord QL (only 50K examples built folks!) should have been delayed so long. Well, it’s here now. It’s no longer the subject of speculation or finger-crossing it’s actually available.

I get the impression that it’s a much better model, than some of IBG’s previous releases. The model gives the feeling of a far more ‘delicate’ approach and seems more finely-detailed than their first truck, the Einheits Diesel Kfz.61.

IBG, has also, sensibly, chosen a subject which will give them the maximum shelf-life for the basic model. They have previously announced that they will, in the future, be doing the Bedford QLT, QLR and QLB. This of course depends on the success of this
model, so, my advice, is to rush out and stock up on this one, guaranteeing that we’ll have more of these attractive subjects for the future!

SUMMARY
Highs: Subject and the improvemt that iBG are making with each new reléase.
Lows: The sprue attachement points and the areas which are missing in the model: windscreen wipers etc
Verdict: A highly competent model which has some niggly points rather than problematic áreas. Company is to be commended for a touch of 'bravery' in releasing such a popular subject!
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: Nº 35015
  Suggested Retail: €32
  PUBLISHED: Apr 07, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.06%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 82.18%

Our Thanks to BIGCAT Modelismo!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Jim Rae (jimbrae)
FROM: PROVINCIA DE LUGO, SPAIN / ESPAñA

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...

Copyright ©2019 text by Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

I have one of these on order and looking forward to it . I note AFV club has a Matador coming as well. Good news for Commonwealth builders .
APR 07, 2013 - 09:36 AM
I've started a Build-Log which can be seen: LINK
APR 07, 2013 - 11:20 AM
Thanks for the namecheck Jim One other thing to add after a more detailed look - towing shackles on the front spring hangers - an easy fix again As ever check references - later vehicles with the hip ring may or may not have the mudguard strengthening brackets but it seems you will be unlikely to see earlier "plain" roofs with those brackets. The hip ring itself needs more work as well.Perhaps a lightly wider top lip - but I'll reserve judgement on that until I can find some more detailed pics. sk
APR 08, 2013 - 03:58 AM
@Simon, your comments on ML were very useful - thanks! Curiously enough, as to reference for the QLD, it was a clear case of cynicism/pessimism taking over as in the last few years i've been in contact with many excellent preserved examples which I found in SW England. However, I was pessimistic (or cynical enough) that it was unlikely that any manufacturer would ever actually kit one out in 1/35th scale, so, like an idiot, I didn't take the photos I could have.... So, the moral of the story, and particularly in view of what's happening with Allied releases, don't ever assume that it WON'T get released!!!!
APR 08, 2013 - 12:08 PM
Jim - some points to clarify The accelerator is included - attached to the cab front rather than floor. The mudguard supports are not part of the APT modifications as I first thought - that L-shaped lip/bracket under the drivers windscreen allows part of the cab structure to be dismantled to allow the parts to fit into a Dakota - and is a key identifier for APT versions. The strengthening is a late feature - so I think the hip ring can be seen with or without the strengthening, but you will not see the strengthening without the hip ring. Plain cab roof = no strengthening On the subject of hip rings, there is a current thread on HMVF concerning the restoration of a QL. There are some excellent reference photos there - everything you could need - including detailed shots of the hip ring restored but not yet bolted to the cab roof. LINK Yes we've all waited a long time for a cabbed QL. Must be over 30 years ago that we did a series of builds in MM using the portee as a basis for extensive scratchbuilds. sk
APR 10, 2013 - 03:38 AM
Pure bloody gold! Thanks again, Simon!
APR 10, 2013 - 03:53 AM
   

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